Renault chair Jean-Dominique Senard. Picture: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON
Renault chair Jean-Dominique Senard. Picture: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON

Paris — Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi plan to appoint a general secretary at the helm of their partnership to boost co-operation and reboot joint operations after the departure of former alliance supremo Carlos Ghosn.

France’s Renault is trying to repair relations with its Japanese partners after they were shaken by Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo a year ago on financial misconduct charges, which the alliance’s founder denies.

The scandal disrupted efforts to roll out industrial projects together and find cost savings — increasingly vital as global vehicle demand falters — as Renault and Nissan shook up their teams in an effort to stabilise their business.

“This alliance executive will be key for co-ordinating and facilitating several major alliance projects to be launched to accelerate business efficiencies for the respective companies,” the groups said in a joint statement.

A source close to Renault said the future general secretary had already been recruited, describing him as francophone, but declined to give more details.

The new head of the three-pronged partnership will report to the alliance operating board and the group CEOs in a departure from the structure in which Ghosn was an all-powerful figure.

Set up in April, the new board is a key element of a revamped corporate governance structure set in motion by Renault and alliance president Jean-Dominique Senard, who arrived at the French carmaker in January.

The board alternates its monthly meetings between France and Japan.

A source at Renault said that a future common platform for electric vehicles will be one of the alliance board’s key targets.

Renault is also looking for a new CEO. Financial chief Clotilde Delbos has taken on the job on an interim basis.